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llo. welcome to "assignment 7". today on our program, a growing number of smart meter complaints. the people who are saying no to pg and e. the program helping to cut crime nearly in half in one bay area county. plus -- >> you asked me to be inexplicable more independent. >> rules on service animals. why the government says they may need to be tightened. attorney general brown is defending california's law to ban the sale and rental of violent video games with some of the biggest game companies here in the bay area, the case is being closely followed. david louie tells us what's at stake. >> reporter: cifornia passed a law five years ago to stop the sale and rental of violent video
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games to minors. it was blocked by legal challeng and struck down. now it's going to the u.s. supreme court. its author welcome has definive decision. >> it's crying out for some direction as to how we can have a rather succsful video game bill. so i'm really hopeful. >> reporter: the case ll be heard this fall with state attorney general jerry brown arguing such laws should be allowed. on the other side is the entertainment softwar association which represents the video game industry. we talked to spokesman rich taor in washington via skype. >> if for some reason the state of california is able to say what can and can't be sold or marketed, that's not -- the is a reason to believe that stops with one form of entertaient. it could go to movies and books and music. >> reporter: at issue whether violent video games are harmful and whether they should be kept out of the hands of young people like other things.
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>> by the push of a button, on the computer you literally are killing, hacking, doing horrible things to individuals and after you've done these hundreds of thousands of times, you overlearn the behaor and that becomes part of your behavior. >> reporter: they mainin the voluntary rating system works, along with intervention by parents. >> we do ourart as partners wi parents through our rating system and we strongly believe that is doing the control that need to do. that there really iso need for the government to intervene. >> reporte the supreme court will be deciding wheth young people have firs amendment rights. the case will be heard this fall with a decision sometime next year. in san jose, david louie, abc 7 money scope. >> a small butetermined group of protesters is sailing no to pg and e's new smart meters. 1500 customers filed formal complaints. as "7 on your side" michael finney reports. >> this woman and her husba
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have refused to pay the disputed amount of thei pg and e bill. >> yes, it shut down my servis by not paying the amount of this bill. >> reporter: sandra nson of concordeefused to allow a pg and e crew to install a second smart meter her home. >> i already had enough trouble with the first o and didn't want to y and have a second one installed. >> reporter: both families ar part of scattered individual protes taking place in the pg and e service area. their stories are similar. their electricity usage tripled after getting her smarmeter and her bill jumped from $80 to $480. pg and e told her there was nothing wrong with her smart mer. >> why you went up withouany logical reason? >> sandra had a similar experience when hers doued
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after pg and e put in her smart meter. >> why think anything of it untiwe got our bill for january services, which had gone from $206 to $670. >> reporter: pg and e at first told her not to pay the disput bill while it investigated. the utily says it subsequently put her on a four-mth payment plan when her bill hit $1,300. the two months into her four-month paymt plan and pg and e sent her this noti, threateninto shut off her power. >> so we immediately paid the entire bill. i couldn't jeopardize my father's health over this. >> reporter: her fher suffered andre ains rich three years ago and needs a respirator. >> if they shut the electrity off, for 24 hours, i'll die. >> reporter:e contacted the utility and it apologized, saying it underread the family gas meter in december and adde those charges in january. it also acknowledges it should
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not have sent the family a shut off notice. >> we did make mistakes in this, both underreang the meter in december and then not putting the payment plan that we had talked to the cuerereromer aboud said we would do, not putting that in the syste and that is what resulted in the shut off notice. >> reporter: sandra remains skeptical, saying her gas bill in december waroughly the same as the year before. she also says the problem started when her smart meter was installed, although pg and e now says she only has a smart meter for her electricity and not for gas. >> t problem is they've nev given us a reasonable explanation. the on difference that we had in usage was the smart mer. otherwise erything has been exactly the same. >> reporter: like sandrand the others, also received a shut off notice. they contacted "7 on your side" and we contacted pg and e. the utility admitted there were two problems with that meter. >> this particular mer has a
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communication issue. in other wds, the data is not transmitting over the wireless network. >> reporter: they so say the meter wasn't storing the usage data correctly. the utility says ither problem would ad to inaccurate billing. >> the communication issues do not impact whether or not the meter measures usage correctly. what the communication is indicative of if p it's not transmitting t information, we have to come and personally read it. >> repter: they acknowledged they should have tol the family about the issue earlier and pued out the old meter an sent it to a third party for testg. itnstalled a new smart meter along with andre an analog meted install em side by side to insure they're working properly. >> i'm exhausted >> reporter: pg and e setside the disputed charges until its investigation isnteresting completed. 'll keep you posted. michael finney, "7 on your side." >> new kind of soccer ball was
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unveiled at the world cup in south africa. it was invented in berkeley and designed to withstand barbed wire and bullets richard hea has this report. >> reporter: this is a new kind of ball. it's called the one world football. its deveper hopes it will change the world. an official world cup ball costs $150 even replica like this is 40 bucks. eventually it will deflate and could be punctured. the one world ball will last almost forev and costs half that. sort of. >> we are part of a growing trend of socially responsible companies that will be selling the ll commercially. so for evyone who buys one will be given. >> buy one for $40 and another one will go to someone in another area. plays were beta tested under conditio that destroy a regular ball. >> my rst impression was i wish we had this when i was
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growing up because now with the barbed wire and the game would be over. >> reporter:hese balls are not really meant to survive metal shrapnel and broken glass and some of these places are not pret. humanitarianoncern attracted a well-known musician to join the projecand name the ball. sting. >> he had told me that he had just invested some money in a soccer fld in gaza because he knows how important it is for children in war zones and refugee camps to have someplace to play. >> reporter: the technology is closed cell foam, a new kind that will not absorb water or degrade and a special valve that enables the ball to reinflate itself for a regular ball, nails and knivesre death. for this ball, nails and a knif are child's play. with the next step in play, abc 7 news. >> coming up, fighting crime in
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marin county. >> it anges the life of one, then we' been succesul. >> the program that's givin young people a secon chance. we'll be rig back. re prese i want you to >>
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welcome back. a program aimed at cutting crime in a low income neighborhood of marin county is proving effective. it's cald the phoenix project. our cheryl jennings shows us how it works. >> let'set this set up. >> reporter:4-year-old matthew is being trained in carpentry by ryan lynch with a conservation corp. of the north bay. >> my family was used to seeing me go down the wrong ro for many years. >> reporter: it's one of many partners in a new crime fighting efrt in marin city founded by felicia gaston. >> every time i picked up the newspaper, iould read about robberies at the bus stop, robberies in a community, vandalism, gunshots.
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>> reporter: matthew is just one of heruccess stories. he's come a long way from san qutin prison. >> a bunch of violations of probations, sales of narcotics, trying to get fast money. not realizing the consequences. not realizing that there is opportunities out there. >> reporter:hris grayson also served time in san went tin. he's 24 and has a future thanks to t phoenix project. he was connected with earl, owner of the detailing company. chris and mattheare among dozens of young men i the phoenix project of marin. it's been so successful that a preliminary report shows crime statistics decreased 42% here in the first six month after the prram started. >> when the sheriff's deputy was siing in his vehicle and he was shot at and it was li oh, no, that was my call to action then. >> reporter: her calto action quickly resulted in the creation of this community connection cent created in the heart of the housing project.
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>> what can the phoix project do for you? do you have your driver's license, social security card? do you have birth certificate? all the necessary documents tha you need in order to proceed in life. >> reporter: outreach workers help young men3 to 25 sign up for services, including mentoring, counseling, compute training, college courses support navigati through the court system, and most importtly, jobs and housing. >> we re surprised to learn that about 25% of these 30 to 40 kids we're working with are truly holess. >> reporter: dan is the executivdirector of the marin housing authority. >> they had provided the space, actual facilities, the resources, staff. >> reporter: a dozen sategic partners were invited to work with the phoenix project, including law enforcement. >> it changes the life of one, en we've been successful really. >> reporter: the mar board of
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supervisors heed get the phoenix project rolling with disctionary money. >> $50,0 was donate the county supervisors donated 50. we're piecemealing in hud funding. it costs us 100 to $200,000 a year, which is kind of a shoe string budget. >> reporter: that investment meanthat matthew and his brother, joshua, are learning a trade and goin to school. one of the neighbors in marin city says the project has changed thin dramatically. >> at night before it used to be really noisy. now throug the nighttime it'smo. >> the gun shots have ceased. the loud activity has gone down in this area. the mo people we get out to work, then the less people we have hanging out. >> it means that young men, younblack men will have a chance to get outn the world and be successful. >> they're helping me with housing. they're helping me stay focused
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on taking care of business. >> if i was able t come out here and do work for the community, then maybe i'll be able to influence others w want to participate. >> reporter: cheryl jennings, abc 7 news. >> coming up, ready to be wowed? when "assignme 7" continues, e hottest topics on the internet and how to find the instantly. and the pets people are trying to pass off as service animals. how they're threatening to give the real ones a bad rap.
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go-gurt is specially made to freeze and thaw by lun time? so kids can have their favorite yogurt in thr lunch box go-gurt. freeze it. thaw it. eat it up. ¿qué si usamos taco más grandes? [ male announcer ] old elaso super stuffers. 33% larger shes. feed your fiesta. imagine searching the intern and discovering what's hot instantly. that's what one company is doing and hoping you'l be wowed. here i dan ashley. >> reporter: for all of e information that's available on-line, therhas been one constant flaw. how yocan zero in on what people are talking about right now. >> i think people are
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fundamentally inrested in what the crowd is paying attention to. >> reporter: jeffrey this he found the answer called wowed. >> what i like is the fact that i can actually guide the trend following. >> reporter: it uses the power of the people currently on the interneto build search results. >> the web is moving toward real time cycle, meaning pages change and peop want to become aware them. >> reporter: it collects data from users and builds a list of what's trending on the internet and you can see new results pear as they become available in real time. >> theuestion is, if something chges, how do you become aware of it? that's what wod is all abou >> reporter: wowed let'sou see what real people are searching foright now. and provides an index of what theyre most interested in. >> new stuff tha comes availabl content changes, and people want a single place to go to become of this stuff. >> repter: it runs counter to the current search model. they call the internet and analyze how web pes are
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related. it works, but miss has tremendousmount of data, including information that may be unpopular web sites. wowed uses tracking software downaded by users to search for information anonymously. this method of clo computing let's wed use the power of thousands of computers to generate search results. >> meaning every few seconds we're le to find new material for you that matches the thing that y're looking for. so that's a ne kind of search. >> i think they're trying to pick u on a trend, if you will. >> reporter: he isn't so sure people will buy into this idea. he says people have a general fear of downloading anything new to their computers. >> i'm not convinced that that' something that people are goin to want to do and i'm not entirely convinced either that we need another search engine. >> wowed says users don't have to downloaanything to see the benefits of using the site. but it says results will only get better if more users do download the software. >> it's not for everybod but we provide a bunch of things
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in what we call the client so that for a certain number of people, they will want to have it. >> reporter: wow users say they welcome any new search tool that allowshem to zero in on what real people ar really talking about. >> searcengines aren't going away, but there are lots of other things that --ools we all play with. >> dan ashley, abc 7 news. >> did y know you can take a snake or a chicken into a restaunt and even onto a plane? under federal law, all you have to do is claim it's a service animal. but the justiceepartment is expectedo tighten up the definition of ju what is a service animal. here is abc 7's heaer ishimaru. >> reporter: wallace's roommate can pull her wheelchair, turn on lights, and openhe fridge. 24-year-old brosman has a disease, without casten, life would be different. >> he allows me to be inexplicable more independent.
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>> reporter: under the americans with disability act, because casten is a service dog, he's allowed to go everywhere she goes. the same is true for midnight, sean's service dog who provides emotional support. >> what happens if she's not with you is th. >> i become a totay different person. like freak out and weird out. not fun. >> reporter: bailey's therapy recommend he get a dog and midnight has a service dog tag from oakland. casten has one from e state, but unr the ada, neither tag is necessary. >> what is really reired under the ada is that they say this is a service animal who is oviding me with a service due to a disability. >> repter: san francisco animal care and control director says if challengeby a restaurant owner or anyone else, all that's legally required is to say it's a service animal. and it doesn't have toe a dog. >> i know there is a service chicken over on the east bay and i think someone in the city has a service snake because the way the federal w is written it's
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like serve animal. not a service dog. >> repter: san francisco has seen a marked increase in applications for service dog tags from 244 in 2004 to 783 last year. that worries cory, ceo of santa rosa based canine companions for independence who thinks some people might be buying the law. >> dogs can be dogs and if they're not hily trained like we have done, they can run it for the re of us. we think there might be backlash of i don't nt any dogs in here. i saw a dog two months ago. it peed on my rug. >> reporter: canine companions gives dogs lik this two years of training from instructors wi three to five years training themselves. bailey trained midnight himself. canine companions and othe service animal organizations are asking congress to chang the law, betr defining what service animals do and to excle the emotional support category. midnightould no longer be able to accoany bailey all the
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time. >> the dogakes you feel better. we don't think that qualifies and we don't believ the ada will say that qualifies you to have access to the theater, the restaurant, to all the public accommodatns in the law. >> it could be fe tuned, but i have to say i think most of the people who app, if not the vast majority of people who apply, are doing it legitimately. i don't think there is a much abuse people seem to think there is. >> the recommendations are expect by the end of summer. heather ishimaru, abc 7 news. >> up next, a young bay area man born to dance. he's been given the chance of a lifetime. but will he be able to take advantage o it?
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welcome back. an east bay dancer is getting thchance of a lifetime. he's been accepted at a prestigious ballet ademy in moscow for the fall semester. all he needs is money. arts and entertainme reporter dna sanchez found him where
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else, in dance class. ♪ . >> reporter: dance is s destiny, an extension of his being. something magical happens when mario hears music. the 19-year-old knew a week after he ban lessons at age ten that dance would be his life. >> i just started to discover the music and the way to move. you can transcend into a role. >> reporter: he's been rforming with many ballets. this was a typical weekday, always working, learning, pushing. instructor says mario ca make a pedestrian move interesting. >> he has this genius sort of element to his thinking, to his way of approaching things. >> something you're born with, she say for mario, dance is all couming. >> i love dancing. in my bedroom, right before i go to sleep. anywhere, any time.
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even in the park. >> reporter: on a lack, he applied to the academy in russia for more than 230 years it has set a world standard. and he was accepted for fl classes. >> in real, real shock. like how did this happen? >> reporter: exacting, disciplid, he'll learn dance and russian. >> the ballet academy, international reputation as one of the best dance facilies in the world. now all mario needs is money. $20,000 for tuition and expenses. to raise money, he has a web sitehis mom has sent out hundreds of letters to friends. nothing n stop his dream. >> it's sothing i want so much there is no room for me to doubt it. >> reporter: abc 7 news. >> if you want more information the stories on our program today, go our web site at
7:58 pm and look under the news links on the left se for "assignment 7". and that's a for this edition of "assignment 7". i'm isten sze. thank you for joining us hope you enjoyed the program. we'll see you back here next me. fiber one chewy r. how'd you do that? do what? it tastes too good to be fiber. you made it taste like chocolate. it has 35% ofour daily value of fiber. do it again. turn iinto something tasty. this guy's doing magic. there's chocolate chs in here now.
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Assignment 7
KOFY September 12, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm PST

News News/Business. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Marin 4, Mario 3, Phoenix 3, Dan Ashley 2, Sandra 2, Bailey 2, Cheryl Jennings 2, Michael Finney 2, Pillsbury 2, Marin City 2, California 2, San Francisco 2, David Louie 1, Betr 1, Unr The Ada 1, Multigrain Cheerios 1, Sandra Nson 1, Ada 1, Cuerereromer Aboud 1, Cifornia 1
Network KOFY
Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 93 (639 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 9/13/2010